Home' Supercar Xtra : Aug Sep 2016 Issue 94 Contents 44
Bathurst 1000 Edition
Bathurst 2016 BROCK
TIM ‘PLASTIC’ PEMBERTON
“He set a standard for others to follow. Of course, the
thing with Peter is while he was around he was larger
than life. He was very much the sort of person you’d
look up to and I think maybe a few of the guys these days
don’t live up to that standard.
“Ten years down the track I think everybody remem-
bers him for who he was and what he did. As a personal-
ity Brock was a one-off. If you go back 20 or 30 years
there was more of an emphasis on the personalities
rather than the sport itself because there were quite a
few guys who were larger than life – Johnson, Moffat,
Grice, etc. They all helped build the Brock legend.
“With him not around it’s just like a big blank, really.
He hasn’t been replaced. His death left a big hole that
hasn’t been filled – and I doubt it ever will. When it hap-
pened, I didn’t really have time to mourn. The media
reaction was unbelievable ... so I never really had a
chance to think about the fact he wasn’t around. It was
business as usual, really. I guess it wasn’t until a couple of
months afterwards that it really hit me.
“The thing about Brock was he genuinely loved
people. I can remember when he was doing one
of his mammoth signing sessions at Sandown
and you’d see three people lined up to get his
autograph – a father, a son and a grandson. He
appealed to all generations. You wouldn’t find
that anywhere else.”
RIVAL, FORMER CO-DRIVER
“I can never forget the day of Peter’s
death. I was at Winton watching my son
James test and 55 radio stations rang
me. So that tells you the impact his
death had. And, like most of Australia,
I was devastated. I always had a high
regard for him.
“We became synonymous in our
careers and we became best of
friends. But the public perception
was we were enemies. We were
never enemies. We were fierce com-
petitors who tried to do the best
for the companies we represented.
It wasn’t personal at all beyond
wanting to beat each other on the
track. And to that extent we were
each other’s greatest rival in the
1970s and early 1980s.
“We didn’t socialise but that
wasn’t because we didn’t like
or respect each other. We
were just minding
our own business, getting on with our jobs. We were
so often racing each other at the front that we had to
be mindful of not letting it get out of hand and taking
each other out.
“It was classically clean racing. We only had one little
scrape in all our time racing against each other. It was
at Adelaide International Raceway and I was leading
Peter on the last lap. We were going through the final
corner and Glen Dix was halfway out onto the track
waving his chequered flag, so I went a little bit wide
and Peter got the chance to come up on my right rear
and give me just the slightest little tap. That was the
limit of our contact in 25 years.
“There’s no doubt Peter was my greatest rival. I got
the most satisfaction out of beating him, especially
in the early days. It was a function of the fact he was
backed by the best Holden could offer and I was doing
my best with Ford’s sporadic support.
“When we teamed up in 1985/86, winning the
Wellington 500 in an HDT Commodore both years, we
both wondered why we hadn’t got together sooner. It
was so natural and I will always be grateful for his gen-
erosity when I was ‘between engagements’. I’m happy
to admit I do often think of him. After 10 years it’s
become easier but I still get very emotional.”
“It was so different in our time. We were team owners
and drivers. Now the drivers are just the hired help.
As a consequence they don’t have the fan base we
enjoyed. There aren’t two individuals banging their
heads together like we used to.
“Brock’s passing left a very big hole in the sport. He
put an awful lot into this sport and he put an awful lot
into building it into what it is today. People remember
that; they still have very fond memories of him and the
peak of our era in the 1980s.
“We had so many great battles and the greatest
of them all was in the deciding round of the 1981
Australian Touring Car Championship at Lakeside. It
was a great race to watch but the racing was so clean.
We raced so closely and yet we hardly rubbed panels.
“It was quite funny because I actually broke the
rear sway bar on the second lap and one of the corner
marshals radioed through to the control tower that
I should be black-flagged as there was something
hanging off the underneath of the car.
“The clerk of course, Ken West, told me later he said
to the start-line official, ‘I wouldn’t want to be the one
who holds out that black flag because I don’t think
you’d be able to get out of this place alive!’ It was my
home track and there was a huge crowd there.
“I won and took the title. There were a number of
times Brock could have punted me off and he would
have got away with it as the stewards back then
weren’t into giving you a drive-through penalty. We
raced hard without crashing into each other. Brock
was a very fair racer. He was also one hell of a natural
V8X94 p40-44 Peter Brock.indd 44
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